Female-fronted Philadelphia-based symphonic power metal five-piece EMPRESS are launching a music video for “Beyond the Sleep,” watch it below.
About what inspired “Beyond the Sleep” and the story behind the new single, the band stated:
“‘Beyond the Sleep’ refers to that place we all will go to one day—what lies beyond our final rest. The thing is, no one truly knows, and everyone has a belief or idea as to what they think will happen and where we’ll end up when that day comes. The only ones who truly know are those who have departed, and since we have no way of asking them, they take the answers to that secret with them when they go. As a result, this leaves those of us left behind to wonder and, more unfortunately, argue over where we think they’ve gone and what waits for us there. This has led to many taking advantage of and manipulating this fear to get people to live in accordance with their own ideals and principles, promising an even better place to go to if you obey them and do as they say. Ultimately, they are using people’s grief and fear to control them by claiming to speak on behalf of those who are not here to say otherwise and this song was inspired by musings in that vein.”
The video for “Beyond the Sleep” was directed by EMPRESS’ guitarist Vlad Khavin. Singer Barbara Blackthorne reflected on this experience:
“We did this all completely ourselves, with Vlad in the director’s chair. There were quite a few late nights, so lack of sleep was definitely a big one. At one point we even had the police show up to tell us to ‘stop playing,’ not just keep the noise down, so going forward we had to play as quietly as we could—thankfully we were finished filming drums at that point!”
Khavin added: “The whole thing was pretty new to all of us, which made it both more fun and more challenging. I had done some still photography in the past so I was able to lean on a bunch of that experience but there was a whole lot I had to learn along the way! Yeah, the late night visit from the police while we were filming just put the icing on the whole thing. It somehow felt so much more heavy metal after that. In the end, I think I will never again take for granted what I see in the movies. It no longer looks like magic to me, but I have an appreciation of how much work goes into it now. Despite all of the late nights and sleep deprivation, we had loads of fun making this video. It was a really great experience.”
The band is currently writing new material and they plan to get into the studio to record their full-length debut.
Khavin commented: “We already have a number of songs that we perform live that may be released as singles before that happens, but that depends on a number of things. Also, we’ve been performing live which has been great! We’re definitely looking forward to doing more of that.”
Barbara added: “The reception so far has been incredible and we’re very excited to continue sharing this world that we’ve been creating!”
Barbara Blackthorne – vocals
Vlad Khavin – guitar
Mark Stainthorpe – drums
Joseph Muir – guitar
Nicholas Bonsanto – bass
Formed in 2018, EMPRESS spawned between Vlad Khavin (guitars, orchestration) and Mark Stainthorpe (drums) who set out to create something not often found in the Philadelphia music scene, with love for bands such as Symphony X, Kamelot and Epica, a heavy and orchestrated blend of power and progressive metal. Recruiting Joseph Muir (guitar) the trio began their quest for a vocalist eventually bringing Barbara Blackthorne into the fold once they heard her powerful voice. Nicholas Bonsanto soon completed the lineup on bass.
Vlad’s composition combined with Barbara’s powerful, trained vocal abilities creates a unique world for listeners to inhabit utilizing various voice techniques, genre bending segues, and hard hitting riffs that pummel listeners to bow before EMPRESS.